Peter Wright wins the 2022 World Darts Championship
Updated: Jan 9
With his second tournament win, 'Snakebite' catches fellow Scottish player Gary Anderson in the number of world championship titles in total
by Isti Miskolczy
The first Monday evening of the year witnessed Peter Wright defeating Michael Smith 7-5 in the PDC World Darts Championship final. With that, 'Snakebite' became a two-time darts champion of the world and claimed the Sid Waddell Trophy once again, as well as the £500,000 prize money. Opponent 'Bully Boy' Michael Smith had to be consoled with being the runner-up and receiving £200,000.
Photo courtesy of Lawrence Lustig/PDC
Emotions came over both players' faces after the match especially that of Smith, whose quest towards his first TV ranking title remains to be continued. "Tonight will be difficult but I will be back on the practice board soon, getting ready for the next one" Bully Boy said while stifling tears. "The bullseye shots for big finishes wouldn't go in, that's darts I guess." he sadly added.
"Michael is the future of darts, I feel for him tonight because I've been in his position" praised his opponent Peter Wright after taking out the checkout of 32 in the 12th set of the game to officially win his second World Championship title. He also highlighted that neither of them was able to perform at their best, but he was able to take the chances that night.
The final was opened with a 2-0 lead to Wright after conveniently winning the first two sets (both 3-1), even though both players had a nervous start, inasmuch as already in the second leg of the final they missed 23 double attempts in total to check out. This leg then became the longest of the entire championship.
Due to a break leg and several 180s, however, Smith was quickly able to come back to 2-2 and later even to lead 4-3. Bully Boy then preserved this lead to 5-4, and looked on course for a 6-4 lead with leading 2-0 in the 10th set. Yet, with two break legs, Snakebite - in perhaps the most memorable set of the final - denied the potential 6-4 lead of Smith and with eventually winning set 10 3-2 levelled the game to 5-5 instead. From then on, the world number two quickly wrapped up the game against a less confident Smith and won the final 7-5.
In total, Bully Boy hit 24 180s in the final with which he did not just level the record of the most 180s thrown in a match (which was set by his opponent Peter Wright a day earlier in his semi-final against fellow Scotsman Gary Anderson) but also smashed the previous record of 71 180s thrown in a tournament (also that of Gary Anderson) by reaching 83 180s during the entire tournament.
Photo courtesy of Lawrence Lustig/PDC
The 2022 World Darts Championship proved to be full of records otherwise too. In total, three 9-darters were thrown during the tournament, which could have been five if Peter Wright did not miss the double 12 checkout twice after throwing eight perfect darts. Those with a 9-dart finish included Willie Borland from Scotland, Darius Labanauskas from Lithuania, and defending world champion Gerwyn Price from Wales who achieved this perfect finish against Michael Smith in the quarter-finals.
Indeed, Michael Smith defeated current world number one Gerwyn Price 5-4 in the quarter-finals to then overcome James Wade 6-3 in the semi-finals. Peter Wright came back from a 1-3 against Callan Rydz to win 5-4 in the quarter-finals to then secure his place in the final by defeating Scottish counterpart two-time champion of the world Gary Anderson 6-4 in the semi-finals.
With this win, Wright put the cherry on top of an already very successful year which saw Snakebite also winning the World Matchplay title, the World Cup of Darts (alongside 'Highlander' John Henderson from Aberdeenshire), and the Players Championship Finals.
After their attendance in the finals, both players are very likely to be competing in the Premier League Darts starting the 3rd of February in Cardiff.
Quotes via PDC media releases.